Meatless Monday: Heirloom Tomato Salad

This recipe turned out to be completely different from what I had envisioned before I began. As always, I was inspired at the local Farmer’s Market. The end of summer signifies a transition between seasonal ingredients. I can begin to fuse together flavors of summer and fall. Light and hearty at the same time.

Here are the goodies I brought home: sweet orange and green “zebra” heirloom tomatoes, tiny potatoes, the smallest green and yellow beans known as “haricot verts”, farm fresh feta and a Japanese cucumber. My intention was to toss it all with some baby gem lettuce leaves and lemon shallot dressing. I blanched the beans, boiled the potatoes and sliced the cucumber.

As I began assembling the salad before photographing it I found myself picking at the vegetables. The thin beans were so sweet, the tiny potatoes were packed full of flavor, the Japanese cucumber was refreshing and cooling and the tomatoes tasted like dessert!

How could I throw all this in a bowl and smother it with dressing?? I wanted to appreciate each and every flavor individually. I ended up with this “deconstructed” salad you see in the photograph. We all enjoyed it just as you see it. I served the dressing on the side and we all dipped our veggies in it but sometimes we didn’t. I toasted some crusty whole wheat baguette bread and we spread the feta on top. This is the way to appreciate a “salad”. Delicious!

Enjoy!

PS- Here’s a tip: leave your tomatoes on the counter for half an hour before you slice and serve. Fresh out of the fridge tomatoes kill the sweetness and sun kissed warmth which is the highlight of summer goodness!

Deconstructed Heirloom Tomato Salad

Roughly use a good handful of each ingredient per guest. Below are approximate weights but they will vary.
8 Ounces of assorted baby heirloom tomatoes, quartered
1 Small Japanese cucumber, rinsed, dried and sliced into large segments
8 Ounces of baby potatoes, rinsed
6 Ounces mixed baby beans (green, yellow, wax or blue lake beans), ends trimmed and rinsed
2 Ounces Fresh feta cheese

For Vinaigrette:
½ Shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 Teaspoon fresh thyme
Juice of ½ lemon (Meyer lemon variety if available)
1 Cup good quality olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients into a jar or small bowl with lid. Give it a good shake. Put it in the fridge until you need it.

For the Salad:
Place potatoes in a small pot. Add water until potatoes are just covered. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain and place in the fridge until chilled.
Using the small pot again, add a few cups of water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Have a bowl near by with some ice cubes and water.
Add the beans to the simmering water. Cook for only a few minutes. Between 2-4 minutes depending on thickness of the beans. Blanch until color just turns bright green.
Drain the beans immediately and put them in the bowl of ice water.
Once chilled, about 3-5 minutes, drain onto a paper towel and place in fridge until needed.
Cut tomatoes in half or quarters, depending on size. Cut potatoes in half.
Place beans in center of plate and decorate with remaining vegetables and feta cheese.
Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Serve dressing on the side for dipping.

To get recipe ideas from all around the world  follow my company, Dove Concepts on twitter or become a fan on facebook.

All recipes © Laura Dove

Posted in Appetizers, Healthy, Meatless Monday, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sundried Tomato, Feta and Proscuitto Sandwich Bites

It’s Friday! Congrats to the end of a long week. Time to catch up with some friends, have a glass of wine and a great snack.

I love making this rustic and artisinal sandwich instead of traditional hors d’oeuvres. I cut them into small bite size pieces so you never need to put your wine glass down! If you have vegetarians in attendance then you can dress only half the sandwich with proscuitto or omit completely. The flavors are so delicious you don’t need to go out of your way to prepare a vegetarian option. How easy is this??

Enjoy!

Sundried Tomato, Feta and Proscuitto Sandwich Bites

1 Pound loaf of Whole Grain Bread (artisan series from bakery or whole foods store)
1 Package (about 4 oz.) Sliced prosciutto
1 Cup of crumbled feta
1 Cup Sundried tomatoes
1 Cup Olive oil
2 Cups Baby spinach
Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked pepper to taste

Place the olive oil and sundried tomato in a small bowl. Let the sundried tomatoes absorb some of the oil.
Slice the loaf of bread in half.
Place prosciutto slices on the bottom half of the bread.
Place feta cheese on top. With the palm of your hand, lightly press down. This will keep the cheese from falling out once you slice the sandwich.
Place all the sundried tomatoes on top. Reserve the olive oil they were soaking in.
Top with baby spinach.
Drizzle with some of the reserved olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cut into bite size pieces.

To get recipe ideas from all around the world  follow my company, Dove Concepts on twitter or become a fan on facebook.

All recipes © Laura Dove

Posted in Appetizers, Breads, Healthy, Recipes, Sandwich | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Green Beans with Poached Egg & Lemon Aioli

This is a beautiful, quick and easy recipe. Perfect for a light Meatless Monday dinner or to try this weekend for lunch. Many people are intimidated to try making poached eggs and aioli. I say if you are going to go for it let’s make both! It’s actually very simple.

Here are some tips:

*Fresh Aioli uses raw egg yolks. Be very careful when using raw eggs. Use caution with children, the elderly and during pregnancy. Buy only the freshest eggs and buy certified organic. Wash your hands often. Most bacteria already resides on the shell of eggs and sickness begins when that bacteria touches the interior of the egg when cracked or from our hands.

At my local Whole Foods organic, cage free, free roaming eggs cost almost $7.00 a dozen! Those are the kind of eggs I want to use but they are expensive. At my local farmer’s market I can have a conversation with the actual farmer. I stress I am using the eggs raw. I have the opportunity to ask questions and even look at pictures of how the chickens are raised. Then he picks out the freshest dozen. All of this reminds me why Big Industry continually has massive recalls. I have the opportunity to buy quality eggs and converse with the farmer for only $3.00. What a deal!

*For Egg Poaching: Take your time and don’t get frustrated! The directions below give you perfect poached eggs. If you have never poached eggs before read the steps all the way though. Have everything you need handy on the counter. Timing is everything. The white vinegar helps the egg white form and keeps it from spreading though the pot so you don’t end up with something that looks more like egg drop soup!

Let me know how it goes! Enjoy!

Green Beans with Poached Egg & Lemon Aioli

1 Pound Green Beans (any variety, I prefer Blue Lake Green Beans)
6 Eggs, Very Fresh and organic, at room temperature (4 whole for poaching plus 2 egg yolks* for aioli sauce)
½ Lemon, juice and zest (remove zest before juicing)
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic clove, peeled
1 Teaspoon White vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Optional: Décor salt such as volcanic or Hawaiian red (as pictured)

For Vinaigrette:

1/2 Cup Shallots, finely chopped
6 Tablespoons rice vinegar (Specialty or organic stores)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

Wisk all ingredients except olive oil in a bowl until smooth. Slowly add olive oil and wisk until combined.  Set aside.

Poaching Green Beans:

Fill a small saucepan with water half way. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
Add green beans and cook for 4-5 minutes. Beans should remain bright green in color.
Remove from heat, drain immediately under cold running water. Transfer to  a bowl and place in fridge.

To make Aioli:

In a food processor add garlic, lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper, egg yolks. Pulse until smooth (only a few seconds).
With motor running slowly add in olive oil. Blend until smooth. Do not over process. If the consistency is too thick to drizzle you can add 1 teaspoon of cold water.
Add lemon zest.

To Poach Eggs:

Use a wide but shallow saucepan. Fill at least 3 inches with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Add white vinegar.
Crack each egg and individually place in a ramekin or small cup.
Slowly drop in one egg. With a spoon guide the egg white back towards the yolk.
Repeat process with each egg.
Turn off heat and cover pan with a lid. Let sit for 4 minutes.
Assemble green beans as directed below.
Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Place on top of green bean salad.

To Assemble:

While eggs are poaching remove green beans from fridge.
Add shallot dressing. Toss to coat.
Divide evenly between 4 plates.
Place poached eggs on top.
Drizzle with Lemon Aioli.
Sprinkle with decorative salt.

*RAW EGG WARNING

The American Egg Board states: “There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of food borne illness. Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell…”

A great reference with step by step photographs for egg poaching on Simply Recipes.

To get recipe ideas from all around the world  follow my company, Dove Concepts on twitter or become a fan on facebook.

All recipes © Laura Dove

Posted in Appetizers, Eggs, Meatless Monday, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments